Newhaven 2-2 (aet) (5-6 pens) Saltdean (HT 1-0)
Lee Robinson (31), Freddie Beale (57)
Penalty heartbreak for Newhaven as they lose in the quarter final of the Peter Bentley Cup.
Newhaven welcomed local rivals Saltdean to the Trafalgar Ground for this Peter Bentley cup quarter final, an entertaining game was on the cards as two of the Premier division’s form sides met.
The game started at a good pace with both sides looking to play passing football, but neither team were able to make any early breakthroughs.
The first proper chance of the game came when Ian Robinson and Kyle Woolven played a lovely one-two on the edge of the Saltdean area, but unfortunately Robinson’s shot drifted just wide of the upright.
The opening goal came around the half hour mark, Woolven found some space in the middle of the pitch and he played a perfectly weighted through ball between the Saltdean defenders for Lee Robinson to run onto and finish calmly past the Saltdean keeper, 1-0.
Half time came with Newhaven well in control but unable to add to their lead.
The second half started brightly for the Dockers, first Ian Robinson raced onto Woolven’s pass and slotted the ball into the far corner of the net, only to see his joy short-lived due to the assistant referee’s raised flag, then Lee Robinson thought he’d grabbed his second only to see his deft chip over the keeper come back off the post.
Newhaven continued to push and were rewarded with a deserved second when Freddie Beale finished off a lovely flowing move from the Dockers, Ian Robinson played a great ball down the line to Woolven who beat his man and squared the ball into the box for Lee Robinson, the Saltdean defence were quick to close down any possibility of a shot but Robinson was able to find the over lapping Beale who fired home to double the lead, 2-0.
A number of changes followed as both benches looked to freshen up their tiring sides for the final 20 minutes.
It seemed as though Newhaven would comfortably see the game out for the win, however Saltdean had other ideas and when, against the run of play, a deflected cross was acrobatically hooked home with 10 minutes left the game was back in the balance, 2-1.
Just 3 minutes later Saltdean, who had hardly been in the game in terms of goal mouth chances, found themselves back on level terms. A harmless looking free kick was lofted into the box, the Dockers failed to clear their lines and the ball was turned home from close range to make it 2-2.
Newhaven almost got back in front when Seb Saunders found Olly Davies on the edge of the area but his shot rolled narrowly wide of the post.
There was still time for some late drama, firstly the Saltdean number 8 saw red for a second yellow card and then one of the most unbelievable moments I can recall at a football match…. Ian Robinson broke free down the left and his fierce shot was well tipped onto the bar by the Saltdean keeper, the ball bounced down into the area and from the resulting scramble one of the Saltdean players blatantly pulled the ball away from the in rushing Dockers strike force with his hand, then to compound matters basically laid on the ball hugging it into him to stop any possible shot at goal.
Astonishingly no penalty was awarded and Saltdean managed to boot the ball clear. There was no doubt about what the talking point was for both sets of baffled fans as they awaited extra time.
Extra time was a bit of a non event after the 90 minutes it followed, the 10 men of Saltdean were clearly happy to take the game to penalties and Newhaven couldn’t find a way through the packed defence in front of them.
There were half chances for the Robinson brothers but their respective shots were saved by the Saltdean goalie.
So it was to be penalties for the second time in 8 days, and despite Ian Robinson, Ebou Jallow, Davies, Jake Buss and the impressive Tristan Jarvis all scoring from the spot, Saltdean ran out 6-5 winners and progress to the semi final.
Newhaven can count themselves unlucky to lose two cup games on penalties when on both occasions they probably deserved to go through.
Overall a good performance with a shaky 10 minutes that proved costly at the end, Newhaven now return to league action on Saturday when they travel to face Lingfield.
Newhaven: Jake Buss, Freddie Beale (Olly Davies 77), Ian Robinson, Jayson Sowter, Matt Gunn, Rob Malila, Tristan Jarvis, Ebou Jallow, Lee Robinson, Seb Saunders (Jack Whitmore 111), Kyle Woolven (Tom Cooklin 73).
Unused Subs: Harry Docherty, Aaron Winser
Booked: Jayson Sowter, Ian Robinson
Officials: Richard Sargeant, Peter Coleman, Paul Farmer